Mitsuharu Misawa/Takeshi Rikio vs Naoya Ogawa/Kazunari Murakama 4/18/01
I'm not sure any Japanese wrestling promotion created after 1995 could stay open without plenty of inter-promotional hatred. NOAH returns to fuck with the fledgling Z1. Misawa's hatred for Hashimoto is INTENSE. Will he have the same heat with Ogawa? Will anyone care about Murakami? Ogawa and Rikio start. Ogawa wants Misawa, so Murakami springs in the ring and starts TEEING OFF on Rikio. Fuck. Some of those were just straight up punches to the face. Then tags are made and....Misawa immediately tags out when Ogawa gets in the ring. Lol. Misawa; Chicken shit heel invader. Wonderful. Ogawa pounds the fuck out of Rikio, who does his best to no sell getting punched in the fucking face. Judo MMA dude against a sumo guy. Oh wow, Misawa running in to hit a cheap shot and tagging in when Ogawa is down. This is great. When they finally hook it up, Misawa actually ends up out amateur wrestling Ogawa. Then Ogawa gets full mount, only for it to immediately be broken by Rikio barreling in to save his boss. Shit completely breaks down, with Ogawa and Rikio brawling on the floor and into the crowd, while Misawa is in the ring hitting what appears to be SHOOT German suplexes. The 3rd of which won the match. Then NOAH's roster attacks Ogawa and a huge pull apart happens. Then Hashimoto hits the ring and starts hitting whoever he can find. Ogawa yells something on the mic at Misawa before throwing it and walking out with Murakami. Hashimoto appears to challenge Misawa, who doesn't seem to give a fuck at all. This was rad.
Shinjiro Otani vs Masato Tanaka 7/13/01
The two guys who will obviously be taking over the reigns for Hashimoto/Ogawa some day, and also tag team partners. Tanaka hits a big flurry of offense as soon as the bell rings, and Otani is immediately rocked. He comes back with a low dropkick and focuses on the leg. Otani is such a fucking asshole. It's great. He's ruthless on the leg, and Tanaka fights back with elbows, but eventually goes down to a spiral bomb. Good match.
Samoa Joe vs Koji Kanemura 7/28/02
This sounds weird as fuck on paper. Young Joe against a deathmatch dude for no apparent reason. Oh wow, these dudes hate each other. And holy shit at Joe's dive. Dude easily cleared the top ropes and would have gone into the front row had the guard rail not been there. Christ, a suplex off the apron through a Japanese table, the edge of which went right into Joe's back. This is so hateful. I need to find the backstory to why Joe is trying to murder Kanemura. Kanemura is busted open from getting blasted with chairs out in the audience. This is like an ECW match if one of the dudes actually knew how to be a pro wrestler. Scaffolding dive! Through a table! ECFNW. A compact, hateful brawl that ends with a powerbomb/STF combo from Joe.
Leonardo Spanky/Naohiro Hshikawa vs Low Ki/Yoshihito Sasaki 9/12/02
Spanky was named "Leonardo" due to his resemblance to Leonardo DiCaprio. Because Japan. Hoshikawa and Sasaki do not appear to care for each other one bit. Stupid ass Low Ki. Dude looked like he was going to be the next huge junior star in the US and Japan, yet 15 years later, you can't even find him. Dude is the king of blowing every opportunity he gets. Looks like Ki's leg might be the focus of the match, which seems like a pretty good call. Ki/Spanky are having some really neat mat stuff. I'd kind of like to just watch them in a match. Wtf, Ki attempts a phoenix splash dragonrana to the FLOOR. Why the fuck would you even attempt that? How could you possibly land that clean? Spanky pins Sasaki with a slingshot Oklahoma roll. This was definitely a showcase for Ki/Spanky, and they definitely stole the show.
Low Ki vs AJ Styles 1/5/03
The title on the line has like 7 names, so just know it is somehow related to UPW and the NWA. At this point, these two had had some hot matches in TNA and ROH, plus I'm sure smaller indies. Very intense grappling here. Lots of amateur style mat work. Lol at 2 things: The big banner for DICK in the middle of shots, and AJ trying his jump over the guard rail spot a second time and immediately getting blasted with a kick to the face. This is really just a normal junior match with no story or flow, and just seeing what moves guys can pull out. Finishers are kicked out of, and Low Ki ends up winning with a running Ki Krusher into the dragon clutch.